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The United States sought on Monday to avoid openly taking sides in an Iraqi-Kurdish dispute, as Iraq’s capture of the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk raised the risk of an open conflict between U.S. allies in the fight against Islamic State, Reuters reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump expressed disappointment the two sides were fighting.

“We don’t like the fact that they’re clashing. We’re not taking sides,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“We’ve had for many years a very good relationship with the Kurds as you know and we’ve also been on the side of Iraq, even though we should have never been there in the first place. We should never have been there. But we’re not taking sides in that battle.”

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